- Not sure I've seen senior defenseman Trent Palm play as well as he did on Saturday in a long time. With all the problems he's had, it's almost good enough to see him on the ice, but it's practically emotional to see him play like that. He's a smart, heady player who will be an asset to this team if he can continue to improve.
- Nice to see freshman forward Joe Basaraba on the ice again this week. He had been out with a lower-body injury, which made it tough for him, I would guess, to keep up from a conditioning standpoint. Look for him to play at least once this weekend, from what it sounds like. That'll be good. I thought he played very well in the games in Upper Michigan, giving the team a bit of a physical edge. Not only that, but he got some penalty kill time, and he was solid in that role, too. He is the kind of hard-nosed depth player UMD really needs.
- With all the attention J.T. Brown has been getting, let's take some time to salute Travis Oleksuk. He was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week after a four-point effort in the series against Alaska-Anchorage. He's progressed amazingly well from his freshman year to this point, and he's the kind of player who will probably continue to be overlooked in a way. He isn't going to center the team's top line as long as Jack Connolly is around, but his role is key, because that second line's ability to produce as of late is going to take a lot of pressure off Jack and his linemates. Not only that, but Oleksuk has come around a lot as a two-way player.
- With Basaraba back and Palm apparently ready to go at least on Friday night in Bemidji, senior Cody Danberg is the only injured player on UMD's roster. This is hardly a Green Bay-type situation, so UMD should consider themselves fortunate.
Also, if you haven't looked yet, the site to check out the online auction benefiting UMD men's hockey equipment manager Chris Garner can be found here. Keep your grubby little paws off that Bill Sweatt jersey, people. That's gonna be mine. :)
(He was one of my favorite non-local Colorado College players. Verrry tempting to make a bid or two and try to get that.)
Finally, I understand that Bemidji State is playing a home football game Saturday, but how cruel of whoever scheduled the Hermantown-Bemidji Section 7AAAA playoff game for 6pm Saturday. Imagine the turnout of UMD fans we could get at that game to cheer the Hawks on to an upset win.
Alas, we're stuck having to choose, and many of us don't really have a choice. Gonna have to root for Hermantown from afar.